Industrial complexes and facilities such as tank farms, steelworks and heavy-duty concrete plants often suffer from ground subsidence, or require industrial foundation repair and stabilisation. They can sometimes require increased foundation bearing capacity, due to changes in the industrial processes that can affect the foundations.

Mainmark provide cost-effective solutions for industrial subsidence issues using quick, non-invasive ground engineering processes that provide stabilisation and ground-improvement without affecting the operation of production sites and heavy industrial facilities.

What is subsidence and the causes?

Subsidence is the downward movement of the foundations of a building or structure. It generally occurs when a building has been built on unsuitable ground, causing the foundations to become unstable. Some of the most common causes of subsidence are:

The industrial complex has been built on clay soil that can easily shrink or swell depending on the moisture content

Soil underneath the building has not been correctly compacted

In a drought, tree roots branch out in search of water, draining and therefore shrinking clay soil, making the ground unstable

Extreme weather leading to water damage can weaken the soil and its foundations

Foundation works are incomplete or poorly implemented

Ground vibrations from nearby excavations or passing traffic

Signs of subsidence

The first steps of resolving natural ground subsidence is identifying its presence. One of the major signs of industrial subsidence is the occurrence of sinking concrete floors or un-level joins in concrete slabs.

You can also distinguish industrial subsidence by the emergence of any cracks in the walls of the facility. If subsidence is present, cracks will start to appear inside the building or outside in the brickwork and will tend to be diagonal and about 3mm width in size.

Other common signs of subsidence are:

  • Doors and windows will not open or close correctly due to the movement of the building. This also leads to gaps between the frames
  • Water damage to the building occurs due to the structural movement of foundations
  • Water in a sink flows in the opposite direction
  • Drainage and sewerage systems start to fail

The quicker subsidence can be identified in tank farms, chemical plants and other industrial facilities, the quicker the remediation process can begin. Mainmark can visit your facility to examine the damage and put together a comprehensive ground stabilisation and re-levelling solution, looking at beam and base underpinning. To contact our experienced team, click here.

How does subsidence affect the workforce?

Foundation subsidence can cause sinking concrete floors that result in the industrial machinery becoming un-level or misaligned. This can affect the machinery’s performance, often producing faulty outputs and even voiding the machine’s warranty. This creates significant issues for the workforce, disrupting their work and slowing down operations.

Uneven floors and slabs can also cause water to pool in certain areas, which can be a trip hazard and increase the risk of slips and falls to your employees. To ensure their safety, it’s important to act quickly at the first signs of subsidence.

Can subsidence affect buildings insurance?

If you suspect your industrial complex is suffering from subsidence, you should contact your insurer straight away.

Building Insurance often covers damage caused by industrial subsidence but it’s important to check the terms and conditions of the policy to note any limits and exclusions.

You should also be aware that subsidence insurance claims can carry a high excess and if the facility has previous history of subsidence, many companies may refuse to insure the complex.

How Mainmark can help

Mainmark raise, re-level and re-support steelworks, chemical processing plants and other industrial buildings using non-invasive, time efficient and cost-effective solutions that provide little disruption to your business, allowing work to continue during remediation.

We can correct moving and sunken floors, driveways, pavements and machinery bases, as well as stabilising weak ground and repairing cracks in the walls. Our techniques also provide remediation to settled tanks, underground ducts and pipes, plant and equipment bases and building foundations in all types of industrial complexes.

Traditional, expensive, and messy underpinning methods are replaced by Mainmark’s innovative, key hole surgery approach that is non-invasive with no excavations required. Instead, small holes are drilled into the area that requires stabilisation and then is typically injected with an engineered resin solution to fill voids and compact weak ground. For larger, more complex structures, a computerised system of grout injection is used.

Small projects can often be completed in a single day and the surface will be strong and stable enough to walk or drive over within 30 minutes of applying the proprietary resin ground improvement and re-levelling solution.

Benefits of Mainmark’s methods

Non-invasive techniques cause little disruption to the industrial complex

Specialist key hole approach is an overall cleaner alternative to traditional underpinning

Small and large projects are completed quickly

Environmentally inert products

Buildings become level, crack-free and more stable

No further damage to the industrial facility